The Week of Reading to Kids, the largest reading campaign in the Czech Republic, that promotes the importance of reading aloud to children and young people, is held every first week in June. Schools, nurseries, libraries, mothers’ centres, literary cafes, the general public and others throughout the Czech Republic can participate in the literature celebrating events. An inauguration launches these already traditional weekly national celebrations. A lavish programme accompanies the inauguration with the presence of eminent personalities in culture and sport. The event is always commenced in Czech cities, such as Prague, Brno, Olomouc, Zlín, Ostrava, and so on. The Week of Reading to Kids allows citizens in every community across the country to take part in a wide variety of events, all built around the joys of reading for pleasure. We originated out of the recognition that, as a society, we must reinforce the deep importance of reading aloud to children both in terms of their emotional development as well as forming the habit of reading, and continuing it into their adult lives.
Goal of the campaign
Through the proposal of a variety of activities The Week of Reading to Kids celebrates Reading Aloud as a way to promote reading. During one week the will disseminate all the activities promoted reading aloud to kids. Every year more than 300 organizations and tens of thousands of children and adults participate in this great festival of children and literature.
Most pressing issue in the Czech Republic
The PISA and similar studies show clearly how important reading promotion in the Czech Republic is in order to improve basis competences and educational skills. Everyone, from the European Commissioner for Education, through the Minister of Education and teachers at schools up to parents, look for a way how to bring children to books. But in fact there is an easy way. It has been proven by various studies that the most effective method of how to make a reader from a young man lies in regular reading aloud. Even the Czech scientific researches show that reading aloud by parents has the greatest influence on whether a child starts to read gladly and by itself. Seventy per cent of children to whom somebody read aloud become regular readers.
“A nation that does not read much does not know much. And a nation that does not know much is more likely to make poor choices in the home, the marketplace, the jury box, and the voting booth…“ (Jim Trelease, „The Read-Aloud Handbook“, 1979).
What we need most
Television and computer games cause more and more children to suffer from unnecessary emotional disturbances. Reading aloud in a friendly atmosphere is a reliable and effective manner of displaying how the reading process can be very attractive to children.
Reading is now more important than ever before. The amount of information keeps growing. Those who do not read will not be able to keep up with the requirements of modern society. They will not be able to filter what is important from what is unimportant. Reading is the cornerstone of education and critical thinking.
Celé Česko čte dětem, o. p. s.
737 01 Český Těšín